Israel Railway Museum

Israel Railway Museum Haifa 160516 (1)The Israel Railway Museum is located in the old Turkish railway station of Haifa Mizrah (East). The Museum provides a journey into the past with the sight of modern trains passing by, set against a panoramic view of the city of Haifa and Mount Carmel.

The Israel Railway Museum provides an historical overview of Israel’s railways and their part in the development of the country from the first line between Jaffa and Jerusalem opened in 1892 under Turkish rule, through two World Wars, the British Mandate, and right up to the revitalized Israel Railways of the 21st Century. The main exhibition is housed in a refurbished building which was formerly one of the locomotive shed of the famous Hedjaz Railway which carried Muslim pilgrims on their way to make the Haj pilgrimage to the holy cities of Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia when it was also possible to travel by narrow gauge steam train from Haifa to Damascus in Syria and to Amman in Jordan.

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The main exhibition hall houses historical locomotives, coaches, wagons, and displays. The collection includes the last authentic steam locomotive to survive in Israel: 0-6-0T No.10 built in Germany in 1902 for the Hedjaz Railway. Outside the exhibition hall there are larger exhibits including two old travelling steam cranes, as well as a picnic area.

The visit continues over the ramped footbridge, crossing the active main line railway below, with panoramic views of the station, the trains, the city, and Mount Carmel. On the other side of the footbridge is the small exhibits building of the museum housing historical equipment and work tools, extensive displays of photographs, tickets, stamps, a small model railway layout and more.

The Museum was established in 1983 and in 2000 the main display of historic rolling stock was transferred to a new compound within the station which includes the rebuilt locomotive shed. The small exhibits hall remains housed in the Hedjaz Railway stone-built goods shed.

The Museum is suitable for all ages and it is recommended to incorporate it with train rides on Israel Railways and the Carmelit which is Israel’s only underground funicular railway, the bottom station of which is 10-minutes’s walk from the Museum. It is recommended you allow at least one hour for your visit.